BRUCE - MEDIEVAL English Horse Harness Pendant. 11th/13th Century.

BRUCE - MEDIEVAL English Horse Harness Pendant. 11th/13th Century.


Rare and intriguing English medieval horse harness pendant. 11th/13th Century.



Mainly 13th and 14th Century.

Coats of arms on copper alloy, with gold, silver and enamel depending on the colours of the arms - they depicted the allegiance of the rider. However, a small proportion were used for decorative purposes only to show status.

Pendants are found in a variety of shapes, usually attached to the harness by means of a separate hinged mount, which might be a horizontal bar with a downward projecting suspension loop, or sometimes a cruciform design. They were often attached to the peytrel - a strap girdling the front of the horse and sometimes also on the horse's forehead, suspended from the upper bridle strap.

These pendants were at the peak of their use in the 13th and 14th century. The fashion faded away when arms became less simple and quartering was introduced.

Most families have been traced and many of them came over with William the Conqueror.


ARMS: Argent, a lion rampant Azure

C 11th - 1271

Found: East Yorkshire 2008

Powerful & influential northern family.

Robert de Bruce I, Norman knight, came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066.

He was granted the castle & manor of Skelton in Yorkshire & that in Hert & Hertnes

in Bishopric of Durham.

Before the end of the reign had acquired some 94 lordships in Yorkshire.

His son - Robert de Bruce Il obtained from King David of Scotland the lordship of

Annandale & large land holdings in south Scotland. He had two sons. The elder, Adam kept

the English lands, whilst those in Scotland were given to the younger son, Robert de Bruce Ill.

The Bruces of Skelton at different times held posts of Justice Itinerant in Northumberland, Justice Itinerant in Yorkshire and Constable of Scarborough Castle.

The line died out with the death of Peter de Bruce in 1271, leaving his four as co-heirs.

So by the time Robert the Bruce ascended the throne of Scotland in 1306, the

line of his English Skelton cousins had died out.


c 1066 - c 1271




Very good and in keeping with its age.